Are You Generating Enough Sales from Your Online Marketing Efforts?
Conversion Rate Optimization can Help!
Conversion rate optimization increases the likelihood that your online visitors will become your customers.
The internet is a busy place, with more than 80 percent of Americans online daily. Many of them use the internet to connect with friends, watch videos, solve problems, and search for information. A large number of people also use the internet for shopping. In fact, more than two-thirds of adults in the United States shop online. The internet is a great place for shoppers to find exactly what they are looking for and explore their options.
It also makes the internet a great marketplace for businesses and organizations who want to sell goods and services. In just 2019 alone, worldwide e-commerce sales reached $3.53 trillion. By 2022, e-retail revenues will likely amount to $6.54 trillion. Before marketers can make the sales, though, they have to attract prospects to their website and then convert website visitors to customers.
Improving conversion rates is the #1 goal of any marketer, of course, but optimizing conversion rates is not always easy and straightforward. In fact, only 22 percent of companies are satisfied with their conversion rates. Many of those who struggle with lower-than-expected conversion rates don’t know why. Fortunately, conversion rate optimization can help marketers of all levels increase conversions from the people they already attract to their website.
What is a Conversion Rate?
Good marketing influences people to do what you want. A “conversion” is any measurable action that brings a potential customer a step closer to the intended goal. Your “conversion rate” is the percentage of website or landing page visitors that do what you want.
Your particular conversion rate definition can vary based on your organization’s goals. For example, for-profit businesses may want to move customers through the sales funnel to make a purchase. In contrast, a medical institution might want website visitors to download a health pamphlet.
The most common types of conversions include:
- Buying your products or services (ex: new purchases, service upgrades, etc.)
- Contacting your company (ex: submitting a form, calling, emailing, online chat, etc.)
- Subscribing or signing up (ex: newsletters, blogs, monthly/annual subscriptions, free trials, etc.)
- Creating an account or profile (ex: on a forum, online directory, etc.)
- Downloading an asset or technology (ex: software, eBook, infographics, white papers, apps, etc.)
- Displaying “highly engaged” behavior (ex: clicking on a specified number of areas, visiting a specified number of pages or visiting a particular page, exploring your site for a specified duration of time, returning to your website a second time, etc.)
What is Conversion Rate Marketing?
Conversion rate marketing is marketing with the intention of increasing the percentage of visitors who advance through the sales funnel in a specific way. It is different from other types of marketing, such as content marketing and social media marketing that serve only to attract a larger number of people to a website. Conversion rate marketing is all about converting a high percentage of leads into customers.
Conversion rate marketing begins by bringing visitors to a website or landing page through an off-site source, such as a paid ad, organic search on a search engine, email, social media post, or even a video.
Google Ads pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising platform offered by the search engine giant, Google. Google is an extraordinarily powerful search engine. They’re the market leader that enjoyed an impressive 87.96 percent share in October 2019. The majority of search results include results from Google Ads.
Google Ads are paid advertisements that appear on Google search engine results. Google Search Ads show up at the top or bottom of the other Google search results, sporting the word “Ad” in a small box just to the left of the website address. Google Ads can also show up in other places across the internet, depending on your target audience and the types of ads you create. Your ad can appear beside, above, or below search results on Google Shopping, Google Play, Google Maps, for example, and even on the Google Maps app. If you’re using Google Display ads, your ads will appear on various websites, YouTube videos, and mobile apps.
Conversion rate marketing can attract visitors through other sources including: organic searches (via SEO), Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads), Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and YouTube Ads. Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is another paid advertising service that shows your ads to people who have previously visited your website.
Once on your website, conversion rate marketing discourages visitors from “bouncing” off your website and encourages them to proceed forward through the sales funnel.
How to Calculate Your Conversion Rate
Calculating your conversion rate is relatively easy – just use the following conversion rate formula:
Conversion rate = (# of conversions / total website visitors) * 100%
In other words, divide the number of conversions by the total number of visitors in a specified timeframe, and then multiply the results by 100.
For example, if your site had 19,263 visitors and 3,602 conversions, for example, your conversion rate would be 18.69%.
First: 3,602 / 19,293 = 0.1869
Then: 0.1869 * 100 = 18.69%
You may not always need to crunch numbers using a calculator, though. Luckily, the majority of online advertising and analytics platforms, such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Google Analytics, display analytics directly in their interfaces that include your conversion rates. Better still, you can use a conversion rate calculator that does all of the work for you, like the one below :).
Conversion Rate Calculator
Enter your info below, and let our calculator do the work!
No matter how you choose to calculate it, your conversion rate can track nearly any performance data you want to examine. For example, you could track:
- Overall conversion rate – measures how well your website converts traffic from all sources
- Website conversion rate – the percentage of website visitors that take the next step towards becoming your customer
- Email conversion rate – refers to the percentage of email subscribers that complete the desired action (such as a email reply, email click, etc.)
- Landing page conversion rates – measures the conversion rate for visitors on your landing page(s)
- Social media conversion rate – measures traffic and conversions generated from social advertising (including Facebook/instagram advertising, YouTube ads, LinkedIn ads, etc.)
- Marketing channel conversion rate – measures traffic from ALL of the channels you advertise on, such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, remarketing, Facebook/Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, to access which channel is more likely to convert visitors to customers
- Page-level conversion rate – helps you determine which of your web pages are better at converting traffic
- Campaign conversion rate – measures the effectiveness of your campaign; it can also help you determine if your marketing changes improved your conversion rate
- Individual ad conversion rate – helps you evaluate how effective your ad copy or ad design is at driving qualified traffic to your website; it can help you decide whether you need to change your ad copy or design to improve conversion rates
- Keyword conversion rate – a great tool to help you determine which keywords to use in your campaigns
Getting a lot of traffic is terrific, but if your marketing efforts don’t convert traffic into dollars, something has to change. Conversion rate optimization can help you measure conversions, identify poor performers, and gauge the effectiveness of changes to your marketing. In other words, conversion rate optimization can help your organization earn a good conversion rate.
Psst…If you want to calculate more performance metrics, check out our handy marketing performance calculator here.
What is a Good Conversion Rate?
A good conversion rate is subjective in that every organization has different expectations for what a conversion means. A wide range of factors, such as the industry, products or services, marketing approaches and target audience, affect the perception of a “good” conversion rate. In other words, a good conversion rate for another organization and marketing campaign may not necessarily be a good conversion rate for your organization.
The subjective nature of conversion rates can cause a wide range of conversion rate statistics, as can variables within the online marketing environment. Differences in marketing media, platforms, channels, and even devices can influence conversion rates. Organizations are also understandably reluctant to publish their conversion rates because they don’t want to share their “marketing secret sauce” with their competitors. All these factors can make it tough to determine what a “good” conversion rate might look like.
That being said, there is some data on conversion rates. Research shows that overall conversion rates were about 2.9 percent globally and approximately 2.6 percent in the United States in 2018. Those that embrace and implement conversion rate optimization can convert a substantially higher rate of leads.
Conversion Rates Based on Industry
A good conversion rate can also depend on your industry. Professional and financial services are typically at the top when it comes to conversion rates, as are media or publishing organizations. Education, healthcare, and software as a service (SaaS) also enjoy plumper conversion rates, especially when compared with non-profits, travel, and hospitality businesses. By almost all accounts, eCommerce and retail conversion rates are flaccid, hovering right around the 3 percent mark.
A business-to-business company (B2B) will likely have a different conversion rate than a business-to-consumer (B2C). In general, B2B companies tend to have more robust conversion rates than B2C companies.
Conversion Rates Based on Source
The traffic source can impact your conversion rate as well. Paid search, organic search, display ads, email, social media campaigns sport average conversion rates up to 3 percent. What may be a good conversion rate for a particular source, may differ from what a good conversion rate is on a different source. For example, across all industries, the average conversion rate on Google Search Ads (text ads that appear at the top and bottom of the search results) on mobile is 3.48 percent. However, for Google Display Ads (ads that appear on different sites across the internet) the average conversion rate is substantially less, at 0.72 percent.
Conversion Rates Based on Device
Device seems to matter too. Conversion rates for desktop users are higher than for smartphones. That’s not to say people won’t peruse and purchase on their smartphones – they will – but just not as frequently. This may be because it is easier to view and compare product details on a desktop than it is on a mobile device.
10 Ways to Improve Your Conversion Rate through Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure that each of your marketing approaches are pulling their weight. The process of conversion rate optimization may seem complex at first glance, but is easier to manage when you break it down into smaller steps.
1. Create a dedicated landing page for each product or service
Direct all of your paid advertising traffic on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc., to a dedicated landing page. This landing page should contain everything a visitor needs to learn about your particular product or service, learn about the organization and, most importantly, to make a purchase or take a step forward through the sales funnel in another way.
Dedicated landing pages are streamlined and easy to navigate. They should contain certain elements, such as:
- Headline – a strong and compelling headline tells the visitors that they have reached the right destination
- Media – pictures, video and text
- Offer – provides essential information about the offer, such as description and price (or if it’s a freebie)
- Call-to-action (CTA) – tell your visitors exactly what to do with clear and concise call-to-actions (ex: call for a quote)
Make your landing page focused a SINGLE product or service. This will keep your message and call-to-action clear to visitors. In addition, it will improve the relevancy of your page to what that that visitor was searching for. For example, if a visitor did a Google search for “best camping backpacks” and they clicked your ad, they should go to a landing page that highlights all of your best-selling backpacks. You don’t need to include a section for climbing gear and snorkels – because that’s not what they’re looking for.
2. Perform A/B tests
An A/B test is a method of comparing two versions of something by tweaking one aspect. For a landing page, you can perform an A/B test by setting up two variations of a landing page and splitting the traffic between them. For example, try two different headlines and send half your traffic to Headline A and the other half to Headline B. Next, compare conversion rates and keep the version that returned more conversions. In an email campaign, you may perform an A/B test where you test two different subject lines.
So why do A/B tests instead of just asking people what they like? Because they don’t really know. According to Harvard Business School, 95 percent of purchase decision-making takes place in a person’s subconscious mind. In other words, website visitors won’t know what they like until they have to click on it.
You can run A/B tests on nearly every component of a website or landing page. Try adding a more descriptive CTA, for example, or switch up your button sizes and colors. In fact, run A/B tests on every component of an email, ad or landing page, as it is impossible to predict what will work best.
A/B testing is easy and effective; special conversion rate optimization software can make it even easier and more effective.
3. Measure traffic
Website traffic is half the conversion rate equation – without knowing how much traffic your website gets, you cannot possible know how many visitors convert. Pay-per-click campaigns often make it easy to determine how many visitors come to a landing page through a PPC ad. Other softwares, such as Google Analytics, can help you measure website traffic from organic searches. Be sure to have Google Analytics installed on your website and landing pages.
4. Maintain your brand voice
Make sure the “flavor” of your marketing material, such as content and ads, match that of your landing page. Something in your marketing material attracted visitors to your site in the first place – make sure your landing page continues to attract them towards conversion.
5. Give them something more
While maintaining your brand voice, your landing pages should offer a little more value than the ads. This rewards your visitors for taking each step towards a purchase. This might be some sort of offer they get for filling out a form (like a free eBook) or an exclusive promo code (that was created specifically for that campaign).
6. Create different landing pages for different visitors
Even the smallest organizations need to speak to a relatively diverse audience, based on age, gender, income, family size and other demographics. Developing customer personas and creating different landing pages for each of those personas can help visitors feel like they have come to the right place, and can encourage them to take the next step in conversion. Their motivations for purchase can affect the messaging them encourages them to convert into customers – and this should all be accounted for in your landing pages.
7. Do proper keyword integration and SEO
Keywords are essential to attracting interested visitors to your website, and for maintaining a brand voice throughout the conversion. To reach the largest group of interested people possible, the keywords you use in your ad or landing page must match what people are typing into the Google search bar. Using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques can help your website place higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). A/B testing can help you determine the effectiveness of keyword selection and placement.
8. Invest in marketing automation
Marketing automation can help improve your conversion rates because it helps automate the customer journey. With the ever growing landscape of competition, following up with your leads immediately is crucial. Marketing automation may include automated SMS message follow-ups and email marketing followups.
9. Invest in professional conversion rate optimization
A conversion rate optimization professional can improve conversion rates more effectively and efficiently than can other marketers. For more information about conversion rate optimization, get in touch with L7 Advertising. Our marketing professionals can help you evaluate your current marketing approaches, calculate conversion rates, identify underperforming marketing initiatives, and suggest conversion rate optimization methods that help you convert more leads into customers.
10. Assess the outcome
Conversion rate optimization means something slightly different for every organization. For some, it means they need to step up their game when it comes to choosing keywords. For others, it means they need to expand their marketing efforts into paid advertisements. What does conversion rate optimization mean for your organization?
Check out our video for a few more ideas on how you can improve your conversion rate.